Pa. doesn’t make all drilling complaints public

Shale Drilling in Ohio

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A paper reports that testimony in a lawsuit suggests that Pennsylvania regulators don’t always publicly release records of shale gas pollution complaints.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Thursday that the testimony shows that the state Department of Environmental Protection doesn’t always issue a violation notice or formal notice of contamination where shale gas energy companies reach private settlements with water well owners. The lawsuit was filed by municipalities who are challenging the constitutionality of the state’s 2012 oil and gas law.

The Post-Gazette says DEP later sent 64 “clarifications and corrections” to the sworn testimony an oil and gas program manager made.

A DEP spokeswoman says non-criminal investigative records don’t have to be made public even upon conclusion of an investigation, according to the state Right to Know Law.

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